Also: The fastest growing U.S. cities aren’t what you think, and the lead problem extends well beyond Flint.
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What We’re Following
Speedway: Next month, Indianapolis is set to unveil its first bus rapid transit route, putting a speedy express coach in a city that’s famous for a car race. But that’s just the first lap to chasing a bigger dream: building a whole new bus network. Back in November 2016, voters approved a tax to fund a service boost for local transit operator IndyGo. With electric buses, dedicated lanes, new stations, and a frequent service network, the revamp represents a big step up for an almost entirely automobile-oriented city.
A big selling point of the system is its low price tag, at least compared to rail-based revamps. The cost of all the rapid bus lines—62 miles with 97 stations—is projected to be about $500 million, and much of that tab will potentially be picked up by federal funding. That’s much cheaper than the multi-billion dollar light-rail proposal that fell recently flat in Nashville. The transit improvements could be a big deal for equity too: While less than 1 percent of commuters in the metro use transit to get to work, almost one in 10 Indianapolis households do not have a vehicle. Aaron Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute (and a former Indy resident), writes that the improvements stand to be transformative by making a little-used bus system more useful. On CityLab: A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
Back on campus, students confront a challenging housing market (Curbed)
Neglected parking garages are being given new purpose (Governing)
Vision Zero is the wrong goal (Jalopnik)
“Granny flats” mean more affordable housing, but more parked cars too (Christian Science Monitor)
More U.S. towns are feeling the pinch as recycling becomes costlier (NPR)